Presentation Date




  • Chronic pain is recognized as pain persisting past normal healing time and that may last or recur for more than 3 to 6 months. It affects about 20% of individuals worldwide (Treede et al., 2015).
  • Persons diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) identify pain as the most common reason they seek medical attention and 68-88% of persons with RA rate pain as one of their top three priorities (Lee, 2013).
  • Pain for RA is often treated using a pharmacological approach involving disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, and opioids. Among rheumatoid arthritis patients, chronic opioid use increased from 7.4% in 2002 to 16.9% in 2015 (Lee, Kremer, Guan, Greenberg, & Solomon, 2018).
  • Occupational therapy has a unique opportunity and potential to address chronic pain before, or in conjunction with, pharmacological treatments for persons with RA.